23andMe Has More Than 10 Million Customers

Some time around April 1, 23andMe updated their “About Us” corporate page to say that they have more than 10 million customers.  No, it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke!

 

How Fast Are the Databases Growing?

23andMe just released new information.  We have recent, official updates for the database sizes of AncestryDNA and MyHeritage from RootsTech in early March.   And while Family Tree DNA has never directly acknowledged the size of their autosomal database, several reports put it at about 1 million.  That puts us in a great position to compare recent growth rates among the testing companies.

Company Time Period Growth Days in Period Growth per Day Relative Rate
AncestryDNA Sep18–Feb19 5,000,000 179 27,933 32
23andMe Feb18–Mar19 5,000,000 400 12,500 14
MyHeritage Dec18–Feb19 100,000 60 1,667 2
FTDNA Sep18–Feb19 110,000 127 866 1
Total 42,966

 

Across the four databases, nearly 43,000 new people are testing every single day.  Wowzers!

We can also compare the relative growth rates of the companies.  AncestryDNA continues to lead the pack with a database that’s growing more than twice as fast as 23andMe’s23andMe, in turn, is growing 7 times faster than MyHeritage which is growing twice as fast as Family Tree DNA.

I didn’t include GEDmatch in this comparison because they have been purging duplicate kits recently.  As a result, their database appeared to grow much more slowly between January and March 2019 than in reality.  In other words, the previous estimates were inflated by duplicates, which will be less of a problem moving forward.  In the period prior to the purge (May 2019 to January 2019), they were averaging 805 new kits per day.

23 thoughts on “23andMe Has More Than 10 Million Customers”

      1. I do (care why), to some degree. To not consider those testing for medical reasons & not participating in genealogy and/or matching is effectively comparing oranges and tangerines, imo. It’s all juicy, healthy goodness but some tastier than others for discerning palates. :-p

        1. I think with all sites it’s impossible to know the reason for testing and how many opt into matching. Some only test for ethnicity. I don’t think any of the companies report how many of their customers opt-in. Even at Gedmatch, I know people who have uploaded with no interest in genealogy.

  1. Good for Gedmatch so many people have 3+ kits there it’s crazy maybe they need to put up a one is enough note. I wish 23andMe could get trees together somewhere on there, every since they changed it I have not seen one (or I don’t know where to look).

    1. GEDmatch is now flagging duplicate uploads and suggesting you delete them. They also just added a “super-kit” merge tool in Tier 1 that lets you combine kits from more than one testing company.

  2. Thanks for the info.
    It would have been fun to see all companies consolidatet in one graph. I guess that could have been easy made if you have the figures?

    1. It’s easy to do but would be misleading, because we don’t have a reliable way of gauging how many people are in multiple databases. For example, I’m at AncestryDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage, and Living DNA. As awesome as I am, I should still only count as one person. 🙂

  3. I’m surprised to see FTDNA lagging behind since I am a member of all the platforms and use FTNDA more than any other. FTDNA has more to offer in the area of YDNA research (there isn’t any yDNA research on any other platform), and the Group Project program is a benefit over the others as well (if one is lucky enough to be in a well run project). I can explain the recent stats: FTDNA’s features are more specialized and technical than the run of the mill atDNA match list, which is what most folks want initially (as did I). My frustrating experience with some 23andMe matches is that folks aren’t giving enough follow-through on their strong matches, so I guess some people are joining 23andMe for other purposes. Same thing with Ancestry.com: why close cousins aren’t responding to me on Ancestry.com is not easy to understand. Perhaps lots of people are simply ignoring emails due to the noise. I’m somewhat concerned that people may be turning to admixture as the prime function of DNA testing, which is, in my opinion, not the best use of the technology. Asi es la vida…..

    1. I think FTDNA fell behind precisely because they target such a narrow audience and because they have failed to introduce new features to drive sales. yDNA and mtDNA can only do so much, and atDNA is useless without a large database of matches. After all, someone who tests for ethnicity is someone who might be able to contribute to my genealogy, whereas someone who doesn’t test at all is useless to me.

    2. I just recently had a ancestry person tell me they just got the message I sent them three years ago so there is that issue.

      1. Haha, yes, I’ve had people reply after 2 or 3 years, too. It’s like finding a $20 bill in a pair of pants you haven’t worn in years.

    3. I disagree about FTDNA. Their site is antiquated compared to all the rest, especially comparing it to My Heritage. They also do not have an app like the rest (except GEDmatch). I also am not happy they didn’t tell us about letting LE in until a year later. I didn’t delete my kits, I totally shut matching off but turned it back on with my account and my uncles Y-DNA which turned out to be useless right now even with such a common Hungarian last name. There are no matches with our last name. I’m disgusted that when I turned matching back on that I had to uncheck allowing LE matching. That should be off by default. I’m also not against helping LE as my kits are in GEDmatch, especially with DNA Doe Project needing them for John and Jane Does. I’ll be shocked if My Heritage doesn’t start offering Y-DNA and mtDNA in the next few years. My money is on My Heritage that will give ancestry a run for their money.

      1. You and I agree on FTDNA. I had them delete all of my autosomal kits because I no longer trust them to be careful stewards of our DNA.

  4. Do you think that FTDNA’s recent flap about opening its customer database to most law eforcement DNA hunts, without prior customer knowledge or consent, will hurt the company longterm??
    They have revised their fine print disclosures to automatically block all EU kits from sharing. Non-EU kits now have to manually choose to block LEM (law enforcement matching).
    What about other companies’ practices?

    1. It will absolutely hurt them. FTDNA’s owners put their personal whims above customer privacy. Who knows what will come along next that they’ll offer up their database for? I had them delete all of my atDNA kits and withdrew from their affiliate program. I wasn’t comfortable “endorsing” a company that I no longer trust with my own family’s data.

      Unfortunately, the damage won’t be limited to FTDNA, even though the other companies are opposed to LE uses. Growth seems to have slowed across the board soon after the Golden State Killer story broke.

  5. I receive roughly 50 new matches per DAY from ancestry.com., but only about 50 new matches per MONTH from 23andme.com. I have to wonder if 23andme’s database size is really as large as they say.

    1. 23andMe caps our matches at 2000, and that’s *before* they consider whether people have opted out of sharing. As a result, we see far fewer matches there, especially distant matches, than their database size would lead us to expect.

  6. Once you connect to the internet, there is no privacy. Regardlesss of which DNA scheme you choose, your data is available to others, by the authorities, by court order, if necessary. Stop kidding yourselves .

  7. I live in the UK and would be interested to know of those tested which country they come from, ie the geographical proportions of each company.
    Even without that knowledge I continue to use all the sites but agree with several other posts how frustrating it is when contact is not returned and guess these people are more interested in ethnicity than finding relatives.
    I must admit that I had not thought of the possibility of the message getting through as some have found.

    1. None of the companies have published a country-by-country breakdown of their sales figures. I wish they did!

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